WHEN Dr. A says that the Iodides of Mercury are not useful in Diphtheria and Dr. B. declares that they are, who shall decide? Our impartial tribunal is the Organon.
Looking at the provings we find: “Pricking in the throat; mucous patches on tonsils easily detached; superficial ulcers; sense of lump in throat, with hawking; much mucus collects, he is continually hawking; tonsils swollen; mucus through posterior nares into throat; nose ad throat dry and feel closed up: Septum naris sore and swollen; tired, weary feeling in limbs.
Clinical study has determined the following characteristics:-
Tongue yellow with tip and edges clear and red; coppery smell from the mouth; must swallow from a constant sensation as of a lump in the throat; worse from empty deglutition; glands engorged, salivary and cervical; much painful hawking of stringy mucus; fetid discharge from fauces and nares.
Must swallow from a collection of saliva or mucus or from feeling of a lump in the throat; sometimes livid, purplish patches; discharge thin, offensive; hawking up mucus, white and tough.
Thus exhibited we need never fear to give either remedy notwithstanding the fact that it does not cause such debility as we usually find in true Diphtheria. The Iodides correspond more to the early stages. When, with patches on the left tonsil and engorged glands the Biniodide will often check the whole disease. If the tongue presents the well-known buff-yellow back, the Proto-Iodium will be preferable. But these preparations of Mercury have often been used simply because the disease is Diphtheria and not because of any individual similarity. Why have such cases so frequently ended favourably in open contradiction to the precepts of the Organon?
Possibly Oertel may help us to an answer. According to his investigations, the method of treatment, which will favour suppuration, will be successful, because it will form a layer beneath the diphtheritic membrane which is practically impenetrable. Through it the cryptogamic fungi cannot pass. Now whoever has given Mercurius Iodium must have noticed how readily a muco-purulent expectoration is formed, as annoying to the patient, as it is fortunate for the empiricist.
But to return to Homoeopathy. When after the administration of Mercurius Iodium the expectoration becomes thicker, more stringy and yellow, we must at once change to Kali bichromicum; for the mucous membrane is becoming more involved and a croupous formation is imminent. In some instances it is difficult to distinguish from Lachesis, because both Mercurius Iodium and Lachesis have aggravation from empty swallowing, and after sleep; and extreme tenderness of the neck. The Mercury, however, lacks the superficial sensitiveness to light, touch, or pressure of clothing, and also the sudden constriction of the throat, which seems to threaten suffocation. And too extreme prostration and cardiac debility are the peculiar property of the snake-poison.